Monday, 18 June, 2018

FDA advisory committee to analyze changing flu vaccine for next year

Doctors visits for the flu down for second week in a row, CDC says America's Nightmare Flu Season Is Finally Coming to an End
Diane Mills | 01 March, 2018, 13:34

US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, MD, today weighed in on steps the FDA it taking to improve the effectiveness of seasonal flu vaccines, which includes collaborating with partners at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to use a large database that includes information on flu vaccines given to 4 million people.

In Pennsylvania, there have been 135 flu deaths since October, according to the state Health Department's weekly flu report.

These lessons may be applied not only to enhancing the most prevalent process for developing influenza vaccine in eggs, but to considering whether greater investment in alternative processes such as cell-based or recombinant approaches to vaccine development are required. That's because the vaccine is more effective against other types of the flu that are also now circulating.

"What we're seeing now is a decrease in the amount of the strain that was less effective by the flu vaccine".

This year's flu vaccine has proven, in some cases, not to be very effective.

Many took the advice of experts to get the flu vaccine, but its effectiveness was limited, Gottlieb noted. By comparison it is 42 percent effective against influenza Type B viruses in Europe.

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The CDC says the effectiveness rate of the vaccine is 36 percent overall.

So why did this season's vaccines not deliver higher protection against H3N2?

The second shot may be necessary if parents have a child under eight-years-old who got vaccinated for the first time this season. The adjuvanted influenza vaccine contains an ingredient meant to boost the immune system's response to the vaccine while high dose vaccines contain four times as much of the influenza material or antigen as standard vaccines. Add Flu Season as an interest to stay up to date on the latest Flu Season news, video, and analysis from ABC News.

Research indicates that the droplets from a sneeze can travel more than 20 feet and may remain suspended in the air for as long as 10 minutes, so the flu virus can easily infect the air inside a classroom long enough to make kids and adults sick from just a few coughs or sneezes.

In the meantime, this flu season isn't over yet, though CDC data shows a decline in visits to doctor's offices and outpatient clinics. Only the U.S. Virgin Islands reported no cases. The WHO recommends vaccination for worldwide travelers for 21 Brazilian states, and the group is closely monitoring for signs that new areas are at risk. It can also reduce your contagiousness to others, so if you live with somebody who would really get sick with the flu, get vaccinated.

And researchers are working to make a better flu shot, said Meda Higa, assistant professor of biology at York College.

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